Driving up the long dirt road to Page Farm, you start to realize just how far away from civilization you are. The trees get thicker, the houses scarcer. This comes as very good news because things get a little crazy once the sun sets on Wild Woods Festival. This small festival comes from the minds of Greenvibe Entertainment and founder Ryan Dubois. In its fourth year, Wild Woods had its best year yet, unfolding August 11-13. There’s something amazing about this place that you just can’t seem to put your finger on. It has an almost familiar feel to it.
The campgrounds are tucked away in the forest, trails winding through with lights hanging overhead for when the day gets dark. As you walk out from your site, you pass a vendor village with treasures and trinkets of all kinds. A little further, you pass through a towering gate into an open field. Surrounded by trees on every side, you can’t help but feel at home. Every inch of the grounds feels like the woods you played in as a child. Except here, there was a wonderful lineup of music to be played.
Strange Machines kicked off Friday with a bang. I said it last year and I’ll say it again this year: these guys had the best dance party of the weekend. Not to say it was the biggest, but the crowd was definitely dancing the hardest. Kung Fu gave us a huge dose of funk before the sun set on Page Farm and things took a very different turn. Supersyllius was joined by Lespecial for his “Lifeband” set. The main stage closed with a long intimate set from Papadosio. The crowd was really feeling it. The stage may have been small but The Reliquarium display that surrounded the stage was lit with mapped visuals. The night ended with sets from Lespecial, Esseks and Jade Cicada, rolling everyone into the early morning.
Saturday was really quite a surprise. The threat of rain was constant and lightning in the distance was alarming at times but never came too close. Honestly, it made the whole night that much more memorable. The slight drizzle that came with it danced off of the lights and lasers. Local favorites, Harsh Armadillo, really brought the crowd to life that evening. It’s really hard not to dance to their high energy funk. The same could be said though for Hayley Jane and the Primates and Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, both giving the crowd incredible shows. Hayley Jane was accompanied by her good friends in The What Collective. Their choreographed dancing was a really cool touch for the Primates’ set.
New Hampshire’s own Roots of Creation played a very unique “dubtronica” set for the crowd. This is something the band is pretty used to playing. They love to put their own spin on the dub/reggae sound so it was a real treat to be able to get a lot more out of this set. Greenvibe was really proud to have Papadosio join the Wild Woods lineup this year, and the crowd was more than thankful. Their incredibly beautiful and deep tracks filled the field with violin and heavy bass sounds. The whole festival was in attendance for this set. The night finished with a huge set from Mr. Bill and Govinda played us deep into the morning with his mesmerizing tracks. Music bounced off the tents and tarps until the sun rose.
The weekend was full of fun and laughter. The Wild Woods fam is a real thing, a real feeling you get after a weekend with these characters. Hopefully Wild Woods will return next year. If so, we can be sure that it will continue to live up to its name.